Imagine a completely barren island. No trees, no wildlife, no nothing. Now, imagine that very island, 37 years later, completely filled with trees, animals, and vegetation. Pretty amazing, huh? And wait, there’s more – one man planted every single tree, all by himself.
In this short clip from a film called “Forest Man,” director William Douglas McMaster highlights the work of an incredible man named Payeng. In 1979, Payeng’s island, in India, was threatened by erosion, so he made it his mission to reforest the island … and boy, did he succeed! Now, you can see wildlife thriving – rhinos, elephants, deer, tigers, and so many more!
It’s time we all follow Payeng’s lead in reforesting the land we live on. After all, deforestation is having a major impact on the planet’s ability to mitigate climate change. It also destroys ecosystems and strips animals of their natural habitats, and as such, approximately 137 species of plants, animals and insects go extinct every day. That’s 50,000 species a year! Need more examples that we need to stop deforestation and reforest the Earth? Consider this: an estimated 50,000 orangutans have been killed due to deforestation, and 90-95 percent of Brazil’s rainforests have been destroyed on the Atlantic coast. Those are just a few of examples of many, illustrating why Payeng’s work is so important.
Payeng says in the video, “I will continue to plant until my last breath.” We are so inspired by his dedication to the Earth, and floored by the impact one person can have on saving the Earth! If you are too, visit the film’s Facebook page to learn more! And most importantly, remember: you can have that impact, too!